» Introduction & Index
» 1 Lemon Sherbet
» 2 Newsreaders
» 3 Targets: Max & Des
» 4. Goodies Turning ...
» 5. Beanz Ads
» 6. Targets: Nichola...
» 7. Goodies In Love
» 8. The Trandem
» 9. Targets: Tony Bl...
» 10. Inventions
» 11. Tim In Drag
» 12. Targets - David...
» 13. Bill's Outfits
» 14. Live Music
» 15. Targets: Mary &...
» 16. Goodies Relatives
» 17. Tim's Patriotic...
» 18. Targets: Rolf H...
» 19. Bill & Graeme i...
» 20. Sports & Games
» 21. Targets: Lionel...
» 22. Guest Stars: Pa...
» 23. Graeme's Computer
» 24. Monty Python Re...
» 25. Targets: Eddie ...
» 26. Memorable Animals
» 27. Foreigners
» 28. Targets: The Ra...
» 29. Graeme falling ...
» 30. Targets - Royal...
» 31. Tim Crying
» 32. Baddies & Villa...
» 33. Targets: Ken Ru...
» 34. Quick Change Ca...
» 35. Goodies Deaths
A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #27
The three Goodies provide an excellent snapshot of English society with the characters that they represent in the show: Tim, the upper-class, patriotic, royal-loving snob; Graeme, the middle-class, intelligent loony scientist; and Bill, the working-class, scruffy, common little oik. However it is also the Goodies' take on 'foreigners' from neighbouring parts of the British Isles, Europe and countries further afield that adds much interest and humour to many episodes. These references are both visual and verbal; sometimes subtle, but often blatant, with send-ups of accents, attire (particularly national dress), local sayings, customs and stereotypes of how these people and countries are seen by other nations around the world. Although the Goodies have fun at the expense of quite a number of other countries and ethnic groups throughout the run of the show, I'll limit the scope of my article to six main countries / regions: Scotland, Wales, America, Australia, South Africa and continental Europe.
The first 'foreigners' to be sent up Goodies-style are the Scots to the north of the border in Series 2 episode 'Loch Ness Monster' and the Goodies aren't shy in giving all things Scottish a good stirring. For instance, virtually every Scotsman depicted in The Goodies is wearing a kilt and tam-o-shanter hat; whereas such clothing is usually more ceremonial and only worn by the Scots on special occasions, while their unique accent and legendary tight-fistedness with money is fair game as well.
The Goodies come up with the bright idea to capture the Loch Ness Monster in order to provide a suitable exhibit for display in the newly-constructed Snowdon Monster House at the London Zoo; while placating the suicidal zookeeper and hopefully earning themselves OBEs from the Queen if successful in their pursuit. As the tartan and kilt-clad Goodies ride the trandem across the border of Scotland, they encounter some interesting local sights including the marking of 'Hoots' at an intersection of the road (which they duly obey by honking the horn of the trandem before proceeding), other roadside signs proclaiming 'Och Aye' and 'The Noo' for no apparent reason (other than a bit of a chuckle), Celtic folk dancing where the locals keep stepping on their swords and yelping in pain, and a caber thrower who gives a telegraph pole a hefty toss. Upon establishing their campsite and all-round observation post at Loch Ness, the Goodies encounter some interesting local wildlife including a "brace of haggis" that Graeme has bagged with his shotgun ("It's alright, they're vermin"), a rapidly-breeding population of wild sporrans and the deadly Giant Bagpipes Spider that crawls menacingly all over Tim until Graeme (after his reassuring remark that "One bite from that and you dance the Highland Fling until you drop dead!") despatches it with his shotgun as well.
After no success with their monster hunting after more than two months camped at Loch Ness, the Goodies pay a visit to the Scottish Tourist Board where they attempt to convince the Tourism Operator that they are also Scots rather than monster-stealing southerners. This is done in a routine that includes all sorts of quasi-Scottish clichés (such as "Hoots Mon", "Noo for Auld Lang Syne" and "It's a braw bricht moonlicht nicht tonicht.") and topped off with a rousing rendition of Roamin' in the Gloamin' with a loud "MacHoots!" to finish. The Tourism Operator (guest star Stanley Baxter) watches the whole routine with a thoroughly incredulous look on his face, then mutters "Ye must be English tourists, 'ey!?" and proceeds to sell the Goodies all sorts of useless items (including "...cameras with special lenses for taking fuzzy, out-of-focus pictures ...") at grossly-inflated prices ("A thoosand poonds" in total, in fact) before trying to con even more money out of Tim later in an underwater souvenir stall.
In an interview for the 'Return of the Goodies' special in 2005, Stanley Baxter remarks: "When I first read the script (for 'Loch Ness Monster') I inevitably winced somewhat at all ... those noises that Scots have never made; especially 'Hoots mon', I mean, I've never heard any Scot say that in my life! But I thought let's go along with it because it's a kind of Sassenach vision of the Scots."
There is a second shorter but equally amusing send-up of the Scots in Series 7 episode 'Alternative Roots' that actually has a slight parallel to the truth as it explores Graeme's Scottish ancestry and he was indeed born in Scotland before moving to England as a young lad. However in the episode, a tartan-clad Graeme is initially unrecognisable to his fellow Goodies when he enters the office (prompting Tim to blurt out : "I'm sorry, you seem to have come to the wrong place, Madam! … Wrong place, dear. Wrongeee ... placeee ... understandeee!! Oh, these immigrants! Bill, remind me to write to the League of Perfectly Sensible Self-Employed Middle-Class Nice People and have them all kicked out, will you?!") and he tells Bill and Tim the story of his Scottish ancestor.
Celtic Kilty was born to Angus Turabitters and Flora MacKitchen in the village of Dunghill (located among several other dreadfully punny Scottish place names) and given his name in the time-honoured custom - "a ritual culminating in total immersion in porridge" (which the maidens of the village lick off him afterwards!) Celtic Kilty and the other young men of the village are taken far away into the hills where the elders "do terrible things to their sporrans"! The young men are taught "the ways of a true Scotsman", such as "What are we with our own money?" ("Awfully mean!") and particularly the secret of "What is worn under the kilt?" ("Nothing. It's all in perfect working order!") before engaging in a traditional haggis hunt and celebrating upon their return to the village by gang-tackling the horribly out-of-tune piper and viciously smashing his bagpipes!
England's other immediate set of neighbours, the Welsh, have their turn in the Goodies' spotlight in the Series 5 episode 'Wacky Wales' and are given a good stirring over their various notable cultural traits. The Goodies have been invited to Wales by Llan-dlubber's local preacher Reverend Llewellyn to perform at an eisteddfod, as Bill remarks that he's already just been to one next door ("I went for a cup of tea and eisteddfod dinner!" to Tim's scornful reply of "Why do I bother, you uneducated little peasant?!") Graeme reads out the Reverend's letter (which contains references to "Max Bygraves", "Rolf Harris", "get stuffed", "unfortunate incident last year", "wallaby stew", "all over the carpet" and "indecent exposure" amid a stream of Welsh gibberish) before he admits that he has "no idea" what it all means. The 3-part folk harmony that Graeme's computer composes is quickly canned as "a load of rubbish" by Tim, though Bill's riposte of "Good enough for the Taffy Druids, isn't it?!" has Tim chiding him with "Bill! That's enough of that sort of talk. The Welsh are very sensitive people. If you upset them … they break your fingers!"
As the Goodies ride into Wales (which has a "Closed" sign at the border and an advisory sign to "Please Drive Caerphilly"), they find roadside signs that advise them of no dancing, singing, drinking or girls … and "no chance" either! There is a terrific local sight gag in this section where the Goodies firstly stop to photograph two ladies who are sitting at a spinning wheel and wearing traditional costumes, including tall black hats. Smoke starts to billow from the hats as Graeme tries to take a photo with his camera, then the ladies walk away to reveal two chimney stacks in the distance directly behind where they were sitting. The trandem overheats its radiator as it climbs up the many hills, and Bill gets a bucket of water flung in his face when he calls at an inn for help after initially listening to some lovely Welsh singing of 'We'll Keep A Welcome' emanating from inside. A lengthy train ride (from one end of the railway station with the world's longest name to the other end) and a paddle in a rowboat eventually gets the Goodies out to the isle of Llan dlubber.
The Goodies' initial meeting with the puritanical Reverend Llewellyn (guest star and 'Doctor Who' actor Jon Pertwee) doesn't bode well as he roundly condemns everything that sounds even remotely enjoyable, including beer ("the devil's brew"), tea ("foul potion of the orient, stimulator of the flesh and inflamer of the senses"), having babies ("sinful wickedness"), food ("voluptuous indulgence of the carnal appetites") and lavatories ("Temples of Beelzebub The open door to hellfire and brimstone! The hot seat!") while claiming that "you'll catch none of (his people) committing one of the 9764 deadly sins!", though regrettably this makes the Welsh a "dying race". Graeme later revealed during 'The Goodies Still Alive On Stage' tour of Australia in 2005 that Jon Pertwee only managed to keep strictly to the script by putting copies of his lines all over the set, but was forced to ad-lib when Tim purposely stood on the bit of floor that had his next speech written on it, "thereby creating a whole new language in the process"!
The Reverend warns the Goodies that "There is no enjoyment at eisteddfod! Eisteddfod is an old Welsh word … from the old Welsh. 'Eistedd' meaning 'bored' and 'fod' meaning 'stiff'!" and the sparse audience of traditionally-dressed Welsh folk either munch away on their leeks or fall asleep during a lengthy performance by a boring, dowdy old folk singer. There is another excellent sight gag involving the tall black hats where a lady in traditional costume sits in the front row, only for a Druid sitting right behind her (despite a heap of other empty seats around him) to politely tap her on the shoulder and ask her to remove her hat, which she does. Within a few seconds of watching the frumpy old folk singer in action, the Druid taps the lady on the shoulder a second time and asks her to put her hat back on again!
The Goodies are next on stage and decide to show the Welsh locals all of the fun that they are missing out on from such a wowser-like lifestyle and put on a rousing performance of fan dancers, magicians, punk rock singers and plenty of bare flesh. However this lands them in deep trouble with the Reverend and his council of Druids, as the "prisoners at the bar" (with the Goodies standing among the Reverend's dusty wine bottles) are charged with having "set about to entertain us!", to a shocked chorus of "No!" from the Druids. Bill's exclamation of "Oh, come on, we were only trying to make you laugh!"elicits another tirade from the Reverend that "laughter is an abomination" and he motions towards Druids council (with the perfect excuse to indulge in some funny punny Welsh name calling) "You see any of us laughing, do you? Ask him … that man over there, the undertaker, Dai the Death. Or him, the bank manager, Owen the Money. Or my lodger upstairs, him, Evan's Above. You see any of them laugh, no?! Why not? … they've got funny names!"
The Goodies are condemned to having their heads chopped off for their sins and when Bill says that the Druids will "regret it", the Reverend replies "And what a slap-up repentance we'll have!" The Reverend firstly reveals though that the Druids really worship rugby and that the enjoyment of sins such as booze and women are not allowed because "you can't play rugby with debauched bodies now, can you?" A final hymn is sung by the Druids before their sacrifice of the Goodies about "playing touch" with a "coalman's daughter", but the Reverend stops in horror when he realises that the Goodies also know the words to it. Canny Graeme quickly starts speaking with a Welsh accent (claiming that he "used to work on the same pit as Tom Jones (and) Harry Secombe" and answering an offer of "Have a leek boyo" with a chuckle of "No thanks, I've just been!") while Bill cottons on as well ("I'll have you know, Shirley Bassey was my Granny!") and the Reverend can no longer execute them as they have proved that they are fellow Welshmen. The Reverend's subsequent invitation for them to join the Druids ("You get a free white nightie every week …!") is politely refused because the Goodies are "strictly Church Of England", (to a riposte of "What?! That poncy lot!" from the Reverend), so an ecclesiastical Seven-a-sides rugby tournament is arranged to determine which religion is the best. The Welsh Druids dominate the tournament – thrashing the Catholics 159-0 in the final – but "these humble, devout, deeply religious people … (who) are probably even now … engaged in some reverent mystical ceremony" (in reality a raucous boozy victory celebration, with the Reverend capering around the changerooms with a jockstrap on his head!) soon show their nasty side when referee Tim disqualifies them for fielding half of the Welsh national rugby team in their line-up and they take to the field again using the three Goodies as the ball in a display of brutality until Graeme eventually outsmarts them.
The Goodies' take on Americans mainly occurs in two particular episodes (though there is also a brief cameo appearance of a US submarine in 'Winter Olympics') and the main themes that they play on are the rather harsh stereotypes that Americans are generally loud, rich and warmongering. In Series 2 episode 'Art For Art's Sake', the Sotheby's auction has attracted art connoisseurs from around the world, but chiefly filthy-rich American tourists in ten-gallon hats (with cameras dangling around their necks) who bid outrageous prices for the art works without the auctioneer even having to take the dustcovers off the pictures.
The first item for up sale is an upside-down portrait by Velazquez and it is described by the auctioneer as one of the artist's finest works ("So's I get a lot of money for it!") It has been the "pride of the British Gallery" in the past but the auctioneer "would like to think (it) would find its final home on the bathroom wall of one of you stinking rich Americans!" Tim suddenly gets all righteous about English art treasures leaving the country and tells the Americans "Too many times you've taken too much from us. London Bridge ... the Queen Mary ... Julie Andrews and David Frost. And we're grateful!", then follows up with "It is the duty of every Englishman in this room to join me here and defend our heritage.", to which Graeme says to Bill in resigned fashion: "He means us!".
Tim gives a rousing patriotic speech to those assembled until the auctioneer tires of his carrying-on and tells him to make a bid. The Goodies have just 13 pence between them and are swamped by first American bid of one million pounds, so Bill and Graeme are ready to walk away until a defiant Tim shocks them by making a bid of "two million pounds" unexpectedly. This sparks a frenzied bidding war between Tim and the Americans until Tim's final successful bid is a staggering one million billion trillion quintillion zillion pounds and 2 1/2 new pence (half a penny more than the Americans can stump up) and the auctioneer takes great pleasure in calling out "Sold to the maniac with the poofy tie!" as Bill and Graeme cheer with delight and before reality hits (B: "What are we cheering for?!" G: "I don't know ...!" B&G (in unison): "What have you done you, fool!")
At the end of the episode, after much soul searching (T: "I've been wrestling with my conscience." B: "Who won?" T: "I did!"), Tim finally gets down off his high horse and decides to flog off the Velazquez and other treasures to the American art lovers, but is horrified when they have gone off the paintings and are uninterested in making a bid. Fortunately for the Goodies, the Americans are captivated with Bill's prized 'Monarch of the Glen' portrait and although Bill initially refuses to part with it (causing a distressed Tim to wail "I can't take it ... I'm going out the window!") Graeme's magic paintbrush soon creates dozens of copies for the Americans to gleefully snap up at highly inflated prices.
In Series 5 episode 'The Clown Virus' the Goodies are summoned to a nearby U.S. military base (which has taken over the site of a national park and has a sign proclaiming 'No Commies or long haired weirdos') and after they salute a soldier at the gate (whose helmet spins around like a top when he salutes in return) they are promptly marched off to the Command Headquarters. The Goodies find all sorts of nasty things inside the office, such as a working model of a guided missile base (where the U.S. loses to the Commies - again! – to which an unimpressed Graeme remarks "They haven't improved, have they?!"), and a range of germ warfare bombs and nerve gases.
An American soldier enters the office (swinging two baseball bats and loudly singing a U.S. marine hymn) and introduces himself as "Major Charles M. Cheeseburger … French fries, two eggs and a side salad! Chief of U.S. Military Intelligence in Europe." Major Cheeseburger demands to know what the Goodies are doing there (to which a forthright Tim replies "You sent for us!") and is concerned that they have seen his germ warfare material ("Oh you peeked, you peek-a-booed?!") After considerable debate about whether the conversation is being secretly recorded, the Major asks the Goodies to dispose of a canister of harmless CV70 'Tomato Soup' (or "tomayto soup" in his American accent, which temporarily confuses them)
Later in the episode, the Goodies return to the military base in full clown costumes, having sampled some of the foul-tasting 'tomato soup' (after many and varied methods of disposing of the canister have failed spectacularly) before flogging it off to el-cheapo roadhouse chain Thirtes, who distribute it all over Britain as ox tails, Scotch broth, paraffin and coffee. Major Cheeseburger returns to the office (firing his gun recklessly before declaring "Dadblasted things, they make me nervous! I can't stand it. Take it away!") and declares " Well I'll be hornswaggled" when he realises that the Goodies have eaten the CV 70 (which induces Graeme's classic retort of "Your personal life is no concern of ours!")
Major Cheeseburger tells the Goodies that there is no cure for the clown virus, which prompts heaps of blubbering from Tim as he doesn't want to be a clown forever, while Graeme is trying to stop Thirtes from selling the CV70 as soup, only to find that they are flogging it off as petrol, which spreads the contagious fumes all over the countryside. The Major now also has a red clown nose and is being doused with soda water by the Goodies (while protesting "I was only obeying orders!") when a Pentagon window opens on the office wall and a General congratulates him on "mission accomplished".
The U.S.A. is ready to invade "the little old U.K." to claim it as a 52nd state (and "write it off as a tax loss"!) and the General declares that "A nation of clowns is no match for our invading forces". As his "good news", Major Cheeseburger is awarded the Purple Heart for his efforts, though when he raises the query that it can only be presented to a wounded soldier, the General smirks "That's the bad news!" and shoots him via a blast from a small cannon on the desk. The Major hits the floor with a heartfelt "God bless America!" and a helmetful of confetti flying in the air.
The invading U.S. troops land on the beach (dancing in formation to jazz music) but are confronted by the Goodies, who soon get the better of them with clown-style antics. The troops are lured by towards a table that contains "blueberry pies, jumbo egg cheeseburgers" and other home-style US delicacies, only for the spring-loaded table to activate and pelt them with a barrage of pies. Graeme swipes a landmine, buries it in the sand and repeatedly jumps heavily on it with no explosion (only for it to detonate when a puzzled U.S. soldier tiptoes on it), though he also suffers by catching a live grenade and allowing it to detonate in the front of his strides (which really does make his orange wig stand on end!) Bill has his inflated pants punctured by the soldier's bayonets before climbing into a magic box, which is duly bayoneted, but opens up to reveal Miss America in a glittering swimsuit, while Graeme catches a mortar shell from Bill while balancing with a parasol on a highwire and does a perilous tightrope walk before lobbing the shell back into its launcher and blowing up several U.S. troops in the process.
The Goodies finally manage to blow the Americans up with their own target-seeking missile and just when they are menacingly surrounded by charred and angry U.S. troops, along comes an old gentleman from the Deep South in a horse-drawn buggy. He demands that the 'slaves' "get back to my plantation … Move along there, it's cotton pickin' time!"and herds them along the beach (as he wields a whip from his buggy) while the blackened troops are left to sing "Ain't Gonna Study War No More" as they march along slowly.
As an Australian myself, I've always had a great deal of fondness and enjoyment at the way that The Goodies sent up Australia in various episodes; but particularly in 'Scatty Safari' and 'A Kick In The Arts'. The Aussie accents might sound a bit dodgy (though appropriately humourous), the remote and rugged 'outback' might look distinctly more like a patch of verdant English countryside and the thought that our women all look like Germaine Greer would be enough to drive us Aussie blokes to drink even more grog than usual, but the Goodies did it all with such fun and good-natured stirring that it was an honour for Australians to be considered worthy of being parodied in such a memorable way.
In Series 5 episode 'Scatty Safari' the Goodies are seeking a new attraction for their Star Safari Park now that Tony Blackburn is "up there romping merrily in that great Radio 1 club in the sky", thanks to a celebrity hunter that has Jimmy Young in sight as his next target. After toying with the idea of capturing Max Bygraves (when all of his audience has gone to sleep at an upcoming concert) Graeme eventually comes up with the suggestion of Rolf Harris as the perfect replacement. Bill looks up Rolf's details in the 'Observers Book of Stars' ("Harris … Anita, Chopper, Richard, Rolf … here we are!") and finds the description of "An occasional visitor, characteristic cry of 'I'm an all-round entertainer. Gregarious, often found with the young generation. Number of legs ... variable! Unmistakeable black plumage on chin, natural habitat Australia." Bill is appalled at the thought of travelling all the way to Australia to capture Rolf ("Nah, not Australia. I mean, that's full of abos and dingoes and upside-down jokes.") , but Tim bossily replies "Shhh Bill, we must prepare for the trip. Look out half a dozen jumbucks, pack two, no three coolibahs in the tuckerbag. Graeme you'd better go and whack the diddle-o while I ... press a clean pair of billabongs. Now ... Awstrailya ... heeere we come!" (in a hilarious attempt at a broad Aussie accent that is followed by Bill almost cracking up with laughter in the background)
The Goodies arrive in Australia (which has a view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge labelled as 'Earls Court'!) to the sight of convicts hobbling down the road in leg irons and a billboard promoting 'Wallabies wrestling in mud' at the Sydney Opera House. Following a visit to the 'Poms Outfitters' (from which they emerge in Aussie bush clothing with oversized tennis racquets and hats with dangling corks - and wine bottles as well in Bill's case, from which he takes a swig from one and spits the wine out in disgust) they flee the streets of Sydney after an encounter with three "fair dinkum" Aussie ladies (all named Germaine - after famed feminist Germaine Greer - who are in massive platform shoes and receive a friendly greeting from the three lads, but then accuse the Goodies of being "male chauvinist boars" and deck them with their handbags) and head for the Aussie outback after a positive sighting of Rolf has been confirmed in the local newspaper.
Once in the outback, the Goodies pursue the huffing, puffing Rolf across the plains in the back of a ute and although the ute crashes into a tree (sending a shower of cranky 'drop bear' koalas onto Graeme, who as usual displays great talent in making more pieces of fluff appear to come to life!), they manage to keep Rolf in their sights. When finally close enough, Graeme maintains enough doctoral discipline to jump out of the ute and apply a medical swab to Rolf's arm, only to leap back into the ute again and shoot Rolf in the bum with a tranquilliser dart instead! This entire sequence is all backed with a brilliantly jaunty instrumental performance of 'Waltzing Matilda', which adds a real Aussie feel to the fun and games taking place on the Goodies' trip 'down under'.
In Series 8 episode 'A Kick In The Arts', the main theme is Britain's participation in the Olympic Games, but there is a fabulous performance by Graeme as 'Kerry Thwacker'; a parody of Australian entrepreneur Kerry Packer who at the time in the late 1970s had turned Test cricket on its head by setting up a rival competition called World Series Cricket and luring many of the world's top cricketers away from their national teams with big payments. Kerry Thwacker (resplendent in a boxing kangaroo tie) assembles his own Olympic team of imported athletes from various countries, while he also has to deal with multiple phone calls from "Mr Brooke Pommy Taylor" in the prison, who is cross because Graeme doesn't seem to be supporting the British Olympic cause. In one memorable call, a splendidly ocker Kerry answers the phone with "G'day sport, what can I do ya for?! ... This is not a funny voice, I'm talkin' Australian. That's right; you are speaking to Kerry Thwacker. ... Yes, Kerry Thwacker, sports-mad international. No, no, Mr Garden would do a much sillier voice than this!" (demonstrates) "Whack the diddle-o blue! Pull up a jumbuck and take the weight off ya billabongs!", (which in reality makes even less sense than t'Grand Master of Eckythump's wise saying does!) while he also puts jailbird Tim in his place in a later call with a firm "We do not deal with common criminals!"
Kerry eventually offers to host the Olympics in London after Moscow had abandoned the games upon working out the astronomical cost of hosting the event and he sets to work checking out the various athletes that he has imported specially for his team. The sports stars are locked in wooden crates and Kerry explains to attendant Bill that "This lot's for Wimbledon. That's Nastase in there. (crate rattles violently) Save it Nasty, save it! And John Lloyd in here ... and Chrissie?! Stop that, you'll ruin your service! (throws bucket of water into the crate) ... Any new football teams? (looks at list) Hello, who's got Arsenal? (phone rings) Who's that? Joan Collins! Hello Joanie, you haven't got Arsenal, have ya? Ya have, what, all of them?! Ah great, well listen sweetheart, I'd like 'em back, what's left of 'em! I can let you have Sheffield Wednesday ... and Everton Thursday! What a game girl!"
Bill then does some stocktaking of the newly imported athletes and reports "Right, that's six prime Kenyan long-distance runners, bit squashed, will be alright though; a couple of dozen Russian child gymnasts, a few dead on arrival, still plenty left though; East German high jumper we've got over there, six Americans ... (taken aback) shouldn't they all be British?!", only for Kerry to reply "Ah, they soon will be. Get all the men married off to Virginia Wade ... and the women ..." Bill keenly responds "The women ... me, me?!" and Kerry bluntly agrees: "Why not, they're not fussy!" Bill then asks "How about the children?" and Kerry (with just a hint of megalomania) responds "I'll adopt them! (laughs) They're mine, all mine!" A little later when Kerry is getting rather tense and bossy about his athlete's chances, Bill tells him to "Calm down, go and do something relaxing ... like invade Poland!"
It would also be remiss of me not to mention the brief but enjoyable cameo in Series 5 episode 'Kung Fu Kapers' where Graeme's Aussie relative, decked out in bush clothing and carrying a boomerang in his hand, takes on Bill in the battle of martial arts on Primrose Hill. Graeme's relative (unnamed, but possibly called Rolf!) utters a cheery "Righto, here we go!" and hurls his boomerang at Bill, but then has no back-up plan of attack when Bill ducks underneath the boomerang's flight path. Graeme's relative curses "Strewth!" after his boomerang misses its target and then hits the deck with a thud after Bill eckythumps him on the noggin with his lethal black pudding.
The Goodies' send-up of the brutal apartheid regime in South Africa in the mid-1970s proved to be one their most controversial topics and a bit too much of a hot potato for the BBC to handle, with the station management initially banning the broadcast of the episode. Tim, Bill and Graeme have since told the tale in various interviews and live shows that the BBC were concerned that the Goodies had been too harsh on the South African police in the script ... ! Anyway the script was altered to include considerably more humour and it put the emphasis more on the South African Tourist Board and its operators rather than the police, but the end result was a classic episode that sent up a government responsible for the diabolical abuse of basic human rights in the most amusing and ridiculous manner imaginable.
There is actually a brief taste of the Goodies' disdain of apartheid three years earlier in Series 2 episode 'London to Brighton' where the Goodies travel through South Africa on their fundraising trip around the world bouncing on spacehoppers. They bounce through a pedestrian zebra crossing with a black man waiting on one side and a white man on the other side and after they are gone, the pedestrians cross the road by bouncing hopscotch-style, with the white guy only hopping on the white strips and the black guy only landing on the black ones! Shortly afterwards, the pursuing Minion has a blackened appearance (from a previous landmine explosion) that causes him to be belted up by the South African police, with the white police officer playing only the white keys of a piano keyboard in a forerunner of what was to come in Series 5's 'South Africa' episode.
I could very easily copy and paste my entire episode summary of 'South Africa' as the show features a copious number of gags about how the Goodies perceived the political situation in the country at the time; particularly how anything black in colour – piano keys ("I'm dreaming of a White Christmas"), neckwear ("Aaargh, Hendrik, the tie!"), cups of tea (made with two jugs of milk), sunglasses, movie cameras "(Black and white?" ... "Just white!"), even minstrels ("In South Africa we have white-and-white minstrels!") - draws shrieks of outrage from the irate Tourist Officer, but I'll try to limit my enthusiasm to a brief outline that highlights some of the key examples of the Goodies' take on life in South Africa at the time.
The tone of the episode is set very early on in the piece when an old lady walking past the South African Tourist Office in London is suddenly ambushed by two burly officers, covered with a net and dragged inside the building, where she is shoved into a crate for an enforced "package tour" seeing as nobody willingly visits South Africa anymore. . Moments later, the Goodies arrive and head into the Tourist Office, as Tim reads aloud a sign that instructs them to go "through door and turn white"! The Goodies have been sent for by the Tourist Officer (a great guest performance by Welsh comedy actor Philip Madoc) to make a film that encourages more people to go to South Africa as it currently has very few immigrants ("that's because of all the nig-nogs living there", according to the Tourist Officer) and their film shows the wonderful opportunities for immigrants in "Sarth Efrikker", who can be free, own a luxurious house and be their own boss – the one problem being that the successful 'immigrant' in the film is Tim dressed up as a black-and-white minstrel! The upshot is that South Africa is soon flooded with Britain's black immigrants and the Goodies are forced to emigrate there by the irate Tourist Officer to increase the number of white people in the country.
Upon arrival in South Africa, the Goodies find all of the well-educated blacks in South Africa leaving for Britain, and instead of receiving a welcome at customs, Tim is biffed with a truncheon by the Tourist Officer (Tim: "What are you doing here?" Officer (sourly): "Hitting you!"), who has been flown home in disgrace by the South African government. With South Africa's black people having all emigrated to Britain along with the returning British visitors, there are now no black people left in South Africa, so the Goodies have to do their own housework at their jungle ranch, much to their own displeasure. This situation also incurs the rage of the visiting Tourist Officer, who has come up with a new form of segregation now that the non-whites have left the country – Apart-Height.
A wall chart is pinned up on the ranch veranda post and while Graeme and Tim measure up to the required height mark, Bill comes up short and is told "Congratulations, you are one of the lucky new band of second-class citizens. All rules previously applying to non-whites now apply to you." Bill and Tim rehearse their new roles from pamphlets marked Little'un and Big'un respectively (with Bill chirping "It will be an honour, Bwana!" – though his reference to Tim as "Oh great white queen" has them both checking the script carefully afterwards!) and Graeme crows "This should work out rather well. We can leave all the nasty grotty little jobs to our nasty grotty little houseboy!" Bill no longer has any rights and is ordered to do menial tasks (such as licking out the pigsty and mowing the jungle) for his Big'un masters, much to the delight of the Tourist Officer ("It's just like the old times!") Amid the novelty of Tim and Graeme bossing Bill around, there is also a rather pertinent gag where Tim asks Bill to bring him a copy of the paper because "apparently there's a very good article on censorship", only to peer through a big hole in the paper where the article has already been removed from.
When a loud siren signals curfew time for the Little'uns to go to their compound outside town, Bill objects stridently and runs away in minstrel-like fashion ("Feet, do your stuff!") into the jungle and then later leads the apart-height police (who carry height-measuring devices to check citizens in the street) on a merry chase through a shopping centre. He is eventually captured after he falls in a swimming pool and is barely able to stand afloat in the shallow end and the apart-height police unceremoniously heave him over the gate of the compound to join the other short people under lock and key - chiefly the local population of jockeys after the 'Cape Town Races Doo-Dah Doo-Dah' have been cancelled, though posters of performances by Ronnie Corbett and Snow White & The Seven Dwarves have also been stamped with 'banned' and 'cancelled' under the new legislation.
Towards the end of the episode when Tim and Graeme are arrested and carted off to the police station, there is a jubilant gathering of Bill and his fellow Little'uns. Bill turns down the Little'uns kind offer to make him "King of South Africa" and instead introduces their tiny "new Prime Mini-ster" ("I hope you'll all look up to him!"), who threatens to chop the legs off the "two political prisoners, enemies of state and nasty big bullies", Tim and Graeme, to "cut them down to size". At this point Bill shows some mercy and decides that the three Goodies all should head back to Britain; however the mounted head of the Tourist Officer on the wall warns them that "Things have changed since you left." Upon their arrival home by boat, the Goodies find a line-up of black citizens who expect the Goodies to carry their luggage for them ("Hey you there boy, you take these cases!") and Tim proudly salutes the approaching royal limousine, but is perplexed when a black, bangle-clad hand emerges to wave to the masses who line the streets. The sight of a black Enoch Powell on a TV screen urging people to "Keep Britain Black, that's what I say!" makes the Goodies all reach for the shoeshine to darken their own faces with.
The Goodies certainly have plenty of fun getting stuck into their continental European neighbours across the English Channel – particularly France, Germany and Italy – and quite a bit of the ribbing is done using terms that are probably considered somewhat politically incorrect nowadays; notably the references to "krauts, frogs, wops and dagos" that pop up in several of Tim's patriotic speeches. Perhaps the reason for this can be gleaned from Tim's fervent speech in Series 4 episode 'The Race' when he urges his fellow Goodies to enter the Le Mans car race: "Now that the Common Market countries have been allowed to join the empire, I've noticed they've been getting a bit too big for their boots. They must be taught a lesson. ... The British bulldog has not lost his teeth. Good old John Bull will never bow down to these greasy wops, frogs, krauts and Luxembourgians! Let them remember Agincourt, Cressy, Blenheim and Waterloo, passengers for Derby, change at Leicester! We shall beat these cocky foreigners - them and their garlic bicycles!"
'The Race' mostly features a send-up of the French and their culture, though there are a number of international race entrants who the Goodies also have some fun with (including the tiny Japanese entrant and his 'Ever Leady' battery!) The French crowd that ecstatically cheers on the riders in the Tour de France (and the hippyish Goodies who are pedalling along at a leisurely pace at the front) are all clad in a "national costume" of berets, red neckerchiefs and striped tops, while wildly waving breadsticks in the air in celebration! A similar depiction of the French is also made in other episodes such as 'Kung Fu Kapers' (where Tim's relative does at least manage to jab Bill in the bum with his breadstick before being flattened by a black pudding!), 'Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express' (the crowd at the 'Le Boring' contest) and 'Politics' (where the French team led by President Giscard d'Estaing competes in 'Guerres Sans Frontieres' for control of Europe).
The Goodies also make fun of French food back at the mobile office after the Goodies' triumph in the Tour de France, where Bill enjoys a taste of fine French cuisine and eats a snail, shell and all, until a disgusted Tim (who is partaking in frog's legs instead) tells him that he is supposed to "scoop it out of its shell first"! Bill chuckles "Thought it tasted a bit funny!" and duly removes another snail from its shell; only to throw the snail away and happily crunch on the shell instead! Graeme gets on the phone to the Le Mans organisers and tries to enter the race; proudly telling them "We are the Goodies. Le Bon Bon.", much to Bill's indignant cry of "That's the Sweeties!" !" Graeme follows up a stream of French gibberish with "yes, we are foreign" and then has great difficulty in explaining that the Goodies are from Great Britain: "Grande Brittania! No ... avec la football, la roast beef, Her Majesty La Queen, It's A Knockout, Eddie Waring ... (launches into babbling impersonation, frustrated) ... yeah, that Grande Brittania" before singing a little bit of Maurice Chevalier to the unimpressed race organiser, who hangs up on him.
There is also a quick send-up of France by Tim in 'Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express' when the train 'arrives' in France and the detectives catch a lightning glimpse of the Eiffel Tower and (tin) Cannes, plus "a quick flash" of the frillies from Tim, who has to change into a suitably sexy ladies' outfit for each country that the train passes through.
Any Germans in The Goodies are generally depicted wearing traditional lederhosen outfits, including Hans, Bors and Boopsidaisy from the town of Backbreaken, who compete in the 'It's a Knockout' contest in 'Goodies and the Beanstalk', (where they are soon reduced to skeletons after an involuntary swim in the pool of piranhas) and Fritz and Fratz (Tim and Graeme's German alter-egos in the Eurovision Raving Loony Contest in 'Cunning Stunts'). The slightly derogatory term "kraut' also gets an airing on several occasions, though it is used humourously on occasions such as young Bill Brooke-Taylor's motivational cricket poem in '2001 and a Bit': "We'll show them all with bat and ball / In spite of our lumbago / We're not caught out by frog or kraut / Nor greasy wop nor dago."
The Italians are usually clad in their national flag colours of red, white and green in the two different 'It's A Knockout' clashes that they appear in, with the Spaghetti Brothers in 'Goodies and the Beanstalk' being the most prominent, though short-lived. After getting their ropes in a mighty tangle shortly after the start of the race, the three Spaghetti Brothers start to argue vehemently and although guest commentator Eddie Waring merrily notes that the Spaghetti Brothers are "all good friends really, y'know", they soon draw pistols and shoot each other dead. Italy also gets a mention in 'Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express' where Graeme commentates that it's then time to say "Guten Morgen Italy!", where the Leaning Tower Of Pisa finally topples over (after Bill trips on the platform and Graeme comments "Ah never mind, it was bound to happen one day!"), but it soon stands erect again thanks to Italy's "incredibly quick reconstruction workers!"
The Goodies also take a few further pot-shots at Italy via their long-ago ancestors in the 'Rome Antics' episode. In ancient Cricklewood in 55AD, Bill asks Graeme to open a window in their primitive thatch hut (to which Graeme duly obliges by roughly hammering a big hole in the wall with his mallet) and then complains that the air is hardly fit to breathe "cos the flippin' Romans keep breathing garlic into it ... what a stink!" Bill also complains that "We should never have let (the Romans) in y'know; they're ruining our traditional way of life, they are!"; an opinion reinforced further when Tim returns with a feed of spaghetti ("foreign muck", according to Bill) because the Romans have forced up the prices of traditional English tucker to the point that the Goodies can no longer afford to buy it.
Even the spaghetti has cost Tim "six chickens and a goat" (to which Bill moans "That's gone up three and a half chickens since last week, that has!") and the Goodies find that their traditional wode face paint has now been replaced by inferior "Roman wode" instead. Graeme accuses Bill of being prejudiced towards the Romans, for Bill to partially agree with a grumpy "Maybe, but don't tell me that they don't smell differently." A matter-of-fact Graeme replies "Of course they smell differently. That's 'cos they're clean! They're always taking baths, which is more than I can say for some people!", with an accusing look at Bill, who crossly retorts "Yeah, well they need to keep taking baths, don't they? Wash off the smell of that pongy Eyetie food!"
The Goodies' take on other nationalities is always done in the most amusing way possible and adds an interesting element to the show because they are also just as willing to send up all aspects of English culture in an equally hilarious manner if it leads to getting a good hearty laugh and adding to the enjoyment of the show.
2/1 Loch Ness Monster
The Goodies cycle into Scotland
The money hungry Scottish Tourism Officer
The Giant Bagpipes Spider attacks Tim
7/1 Alternative Roots
Graeme has been to Scotland, och aye!
Celtic Kilty hunting the haggis
5/4 Wacky Wales
Two traditional Welsh ladies ... sort of!
Bill receives an unfriendly Welsh welcome
Reverend Llewellyn stirs up the outrage
The Goodies in strife after having fun in Wales
2/6 Art For Art's Sake
A rich American art bidder
5/2 The Clown Virus
U.S. Major Charles M Cheeseburger
The U.S. troops herded back to the plantation
5/6 Scatty Safari
After a trip to the 'Pom's Outfitters'
The Goodies meet the Germaines in Australia
Graeme tangles with a 'drop bear' koala
Hunting Rolf Harris in the Aussie outback
8/3 A Kick In The Arts
Graeme as Kerry Thwacker, "sports mad international"
"Stop that, you'll ruin your service!"
5/11 South Africa
A sign of things to come!
"I'm dreaming of a White Christmas ... !"
Black is bad, white is good for the Tourist Officer
Calling all immigrants ... Howdy doo dere!
"In South Africa we have white and white minstrels!"
4/6 The Race
The finish line of the Tour de France
Bill munches on a snail in France
5/7 Kung Fu Kapers
Frenchman Tim gives some cheek, but soon gets eckythumped!
5/10 Cunning Stunts
Germans Fritz and Fratz at the European Raving Loony Contest
Special Goodies & The Beanstalk
The German team in 'It's A Knockout'
Italy's Spaghetti Brothers settle a disagreement
5/9 Rome Antics
The early Goodies complain about the Romans